Biol 217 - Mammalogy
FINAL EXAM - Spring 1998

Name_______________________                                                                   Student ID # _____________________

1. (10 Pts.) Choose one commensal member of the family Muridae and explain consequences of this association with humans. Speculate on reasons why murids in particular have been so successful in adapting to human stuctures.

2. (10 Pts.) In contrast to American lagomorphs in the genus Sylvilagus, the European rabbit Oryctolagus cunniculus has become a huge problem species in many parts of the world. Mention at least one reason for this difference based on your knowledge of the natural history of both groups. What method of biological control has been employed to control populations of the European rabbit?

3. (10 Pts.) Illustrate what Kenyan zoologist Jonathan Kingdon (1997) meant when he stated that the "Viverridae [civets, genets etc.] are to carnivores what lemurs are to the higher primates".

4. (10 pts.) Briefly compare the two otter species in North America (north of Mexico) with regard to their anatomy, habitat, diet, behavior, and conservation.

5. (10 pts.) In what way are lions (Panthera leo) unique among the big cats?

6. (10 pts.) Discuss some of the pros and cons of being a weasel-shaped carnivore.

7. (10 pts.) Steller's sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas) was a unique member of the order ________________ and family __________________ because of its ________________ distribution and ______________ size. This species probably went extinct due to _________________ and because, by the time it was discovered, it already existed only in ________________ populations.

8. (15 pts.) Contrast the three families of the Perissodactyla (odd-toed ungulates) with regard to distribution, cursorial adaptation, and conservation status in the wild.

9. (5 pts.) Briefly compare feeding adaptations of the two cetacean suborders Odontoceti and Mysticeti.

10. (5 pts.) Describe adaptations of the aardvark (Orycteropus afer) and the ecological importance of this order for other large mammals in Africa.

11. (5 pts.) Choose one example of a North American migratory ungulate and illustrate the function of large mammal migrations.

12. (5 pts) Examine the phylogenetic tree of the Family Ursidae below from O'Brien (1987) and suggest a more current solution regarding the relationship of the Giant panda (Ailuropodus melanoleuca) and the Lesser panda (Ailurus fulgens) to the bear and the raccoon families using a similar tree diagram (don't worry about the evolutionary timing).

13. (5 pts.) Describe some of the anatomy & utility of the elephant proboscis.

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